Within the framework of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the European Commission focuses on economic development programmes which aim at
- closing job qualification gaps
- improving employability through vocational training
- supporting job creation and self-employment opportunities, focusing on strengthening micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
ARCHIPELAGO was developed by sequa in cooperation with EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and CPCCAF, the Association of French-speaking Chambers in Africa and Europe.
ARCHIPELAGO is an innovative vocational training programme aimed at strengthening the employability of the workforce and the entrepreneurial capacity of MSMEs in the 12 target countries of the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.
So far, the programme has organised two calls for proposals to select, support and finance relevant partnership projects contributing to the programme objective. Each partnership project has a duration of 20 to 32 months and disposes of a budget between EUR 400,000 to EUR 600,000. Under the first call for proposals, which closed in July 2019, 10 contracts were signed for projects in the following countries: Burkina Faso (2 projects), Cameroon (1), Chad (2), Ghana (1), Mali (1), Mauritania (1) and Senegal (2). The second call for proposals, which was closed at the beginning of May 2020, led to the selection of 9 further projects in Cameroon (3), Côte d'Ivoire (2), Ghana (1), Mauritania (1), Niger (1) and Senegal (1), which are to be signed in the coming months. The selected projects are expected to start in September 2020 and focus on creating employment opportunities in a wide range of economic sectors, including agriculture, agro-industry, construction, textiles and handicraft.
The 19 funded projects will be implemented by international consortia comprising a total of 45 partners from Africa and 40 partners from Europe.
ARCHIPELAGO's approach is that of an institutional partnership: European chambers and associations connect with African chambers, associations and educational institutions in order to impart important knowledge and skills to young people in close cooperation with the private sector and in line with the needs of the labour market. This placement is to take place both in vocational training centres and at the workplace. Promoting employment through demand-oriented further training is an important contribution to socio-economic stabilisation in the countries.
ARCHIPELAGO has been developed by sequa in cooperation with EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and CPCCAF, the Association of French-speaking Chambers in Africa and Europe.
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